Onion and bacon: best of friends

By Friday, January 07, 2011 , , , ,

Our Christmas dinner was German-themed: roasted pork, potato dumplings, pickled vegetable salad and braised cabbage and apples – a pretty amazing meal that was kicked off with an afternoon noshing of flammkuchen that my sister Holley made. Flammkuchen is the German equivalent of pizza that is topped with quark or crème fraiçhe, onions and bacon/speck (see photo above of ours from Christmas). The crust is more cracker-like than chewy pizza crust – mainly due to the miniscule amount of yeast in the dough. It reminded me a lot of a lighter version of Suzanne Goin’s bacon and young onion tart with cantal cheese from her cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, of which I make a “lighter” version with just sautéed onions and the ricotta-crème fraiçhe base that tops flaky puff pastry.

In cooking, as in life, there are perfect pairs; onion and bacon are one of them. There is nothing better than sautéing onions in bacon fat to start a pot of clam chowder. Spaghetti carbonara and bucatini all’amatriciana are both sublime with the silky onions and pancetta that make up the base of their sauces; one creamy and unctuous; the other piquant. Onion and bacon can play multiple roles in the kitchen, as a flavor base, as the star of the show, or as a side note in a steaming bowl of pasta – a perfect pair indeed.

Here’s a link to a yummy recipe of flammkuchen from the very yummy blog, Delicious Days.

Up next: pork three ways: braised pork with polenta, shredded pork and avocado tacos and fragrant pork with jasmine rice and julienned cucumber.
Happy eating, -s.

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